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Increasing Diversity at SIOP:  The Future is Now

Miguel A. Quinones
University of Arizona
Chair of CEMA

SIOPs Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) has recently been upgraded from ad hoc status to a standing committee, reflecting SIOPs commitment to increasing the diversity of our membership. Those of us that have been attending the SIOP conference for a number of years have noticed the significant increases in the number of ethnic minorities. Although it is difficult to obtain hard numbers, my subjective impression is that the greatest increases have occurred at the student level. And therein lies our challenge. The future members and leaders of SIOP are poised and ready to participate, and we must do everything we can to ensure that our society is welcoming to members from all ethnic backgrounds and that these students choose to become full members when they graduate from their respective programs. The future that we were hoping for when SIOP decided to create CEMA is becoming a reality. It is my goal as CEMA chair to ensure that we follow through on our commitment to diversity. There is still much work to be done, but we owe a lot to my predecessors at CEMA and to all of the volunteers that have worked on this issue either through CEMA or other committees.

The goal of CEMA is to increase the representation of ethnic minorities at SIOP, to serve as a communication medium for members of underrepresented minority groups as well as those interested in the issue of minority participation, and to increase the visibility of research on ethnic minority topics. Over the past year, CEMA has hosted a number of events at the conference. The most notable example is the CEMA business meeting followed by a reception. Another recent accomplishment is the creation of the SIOP Teaching Institute that aims at increasing the number of minorities interested in I-O by introducing faculty members from universities with large numbers of minority students to our field. The Teaching Institute has been such a success that the SIOP Executive Board has recently voted to make it its own ad hoc committee and appointed Ron Landis from Tulane University as its chair. 

My own goals for CEMA reflect the success of past efforts as well as the challenges we face in ensuring that the increasing numbers of ethnic minorities at the conference feel a part of our society and choose to become permanent and active members of SIOP. Specifically, my goals for the next 2 years are:

Goal 1. Increase the visibility of the committee and the level of communication among ethnic minorities in I-O psychology.

Goal 2. Develop a CEMA-sponsored session at the SIOP conference.

Goal 3. Establish a graduate student organization under CEMA to ensure that we retain these members as they transition from graduate school to permanent positions.

Goal 4. Establish a mentoring program that links graduate students from underrepresented groups with SIOP members in academia and industry.

Goal 5: Continue writing a regular column in TIP to communicate the committees initiatives.

Obviously I cannot accomplish these goals alone. I am fortunate to have a highly motivated and capable leadership team that will work towards accomplishing these goals. The team members include:

Herman Aguinis, University of Colorado at Denver
Derek Avery, Saint Josephs University
Lilia Cortina, University of Michigan
Marina Field, Columbia University
DonnaMaria C. Vigil-King, Intel Corporation

We are currently seeking volunteers to join the committee. If you are interested in working towards these goals, feel free to e-mail me at mickey@eller.arizona.edu. You can also contact me if you wish to contribute to this column or want to alert me to an issue that needs to be addressed. Finally, keep an eye out for future TIP columns from CEMA where we will present updates on our progress towards these goals.

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